There was something surreal about her.
Her fascinating beauty would make anyone wish to live a lifetime all over again, yet her soft eyes conveyed the distant depths which made one lose faith in living a life itself.
I was humbled by the realization that she could never truly be mine, no matter how intimate we became.
‘I want to know what goes on in your mind,’ I finally found the words, ‘and feel what’s in your heart.’
She looked up at me in deep stillness and with an honest smile asked, ‘Are you sure you are up to it?’
‘Yes… I am a traveler. My journeys are long and intriguing.’
‘I’ve been as far as the heart,’ she spoke out, ‘but my mind is still an unchartered territory.’
My eyes strayed down to her palm resting on the table. She had beautiful slender ﬁngers, crowned by perfectly formed, unpainted nails.
‘Wasn’t it the mind that is discovered ﬁrst?’ I continued looking at those ﬁngers.
‘That is a man’s way; the warrior tackles the battles.’
‘I just want to explore, and absorb.’ I requested.
‘Which one would you venture into ﬁrst?’ She looked up again.
‘The mind, of course. Then I would soak up what is in the heart.’
She sat silently for a moment, then her hand rose from the table and covered my eyes. I could feel the warmth gradually seep in.
‘I’ll give you the span of two blinks, one for the mind, one for the heart. A moment longer and you may get lost...never to return.’ She paused and then her hand slowly let my eyes free.
I missed the captivation under that warm palm, those gentle ﬁngers.
On her first blink, time froze.
The intensity of the buffeting storms startled me.
With no cover in sight, the whistling winds ﬂung me across the recesses of her mind.
How could a lady with such serene a presence, the bearer of those delicate hands, possess such turmoil within her mind!! My thoughts screamed.
What are those looming shadows, this ﬂying debris rocketing all around me??
I ducked as a hailstorm zoomed above my head. I looked back and recognized it as an injury which had once caused her pain and lingering anguish.
A spark lit up the skies; she had completed her graduation. From the shadows afar, a delightful laughter echoed; she had united again with her lover after that bitter quarrel.
I saw two conﬂicting strands of logic squabble among themselves as they blew past me.
That angry uproar in the corner was the bitter experience of going through her divorce.
This earth-shaking struggle was the death of her closest friend.
My thoughts grew as confused as her mind was chaotic.
So, amid this commotion, what paciﬁed it all? What kept these fiercely divergent pieces together? How could one make sense out of these competing stimulants?
‘See? That’s why I never ventured into my mind.’ Her voice resonated from eons before the beginning of time.
But time had ceased to exist. The blink was eternity itself.
It was time to leave.
Her second blink led me into the recesses of her heart. I braced myself for the experience.
But this was a more profound place, devoid of the commotion I had experienced within the brain. A dwelling where pain and pleasure resided in reassuring harmony.
I witnessed the foyer where the psyche consoled the mind. I wandered into a room where her heartbreak was soothed by the balm of time. In the bedroom, a number of her inculcated values gathered around the rebellious temptations to lie still. I could see logic throw up its arms in exasperation when feelings quietly locked it inside a room.
I found an empty chair, so similar to those hollow voids in her heart, and sat down. I wondered if I still had any more time before the blink ended, and realized it no longer mattered. I could have stayed here till eternity.
She was right in visiting her heart and avoiding the mind. It was here that the solution lay. While logic, sanity, and sensibilities fought their endless battles, it was the heart that absorbed it all, keeping the pieces together.
She had found peace within herself.
I felt her palm cover my eyes again. I cherished those warm, beautiful ﬁngers as they curled towards my temple.
When did I get back? Two blinks were far too short a time! I have so much more to explore, to learn and to absorb!
‘Can you please allow me some more time?’ I whispered with my eyes closed.
‘There cannot be a second chance. You do the best in the given time.’ She softly pulled her hand away.
I kept my eyes closed, afraid of losing the tender moments.
My desire to see no longer existed. My vision grew independant of the eyesight.
I put my elbows on the table and lightly rested the chin on my clasped hands.
I could feel her across the table, the soft smile barely stretched her delicate lips. I knew her eyes would be looking at me, as a lovers’ would.
‘When you let me in...,’ my words echoed in that enlightened blackout, ‘...weren’t you concerned I would discover so much of what you meant to hide?’
‘You are a traveler, a passer-by... not a conqueror.’
I still lacked the desire to open my eyes.
‘Who really are you?’
‘Life, itself.’ She replied.